Anti-violent extremism through education drive launched at outreach caravan

Anti-violent extremism through education drive launched at outreach caravan

Receptive students of Bobon National High School during the anti-violent extremism outreach caravan at Barangay Bobon, Mati City.

MATI CITY — An advocacy program touted to serve as a major offensive to “counter violent extremism” is being piloted here in the province. Incorporated to the myriad of services and advocacy campaigns being offered by the province’s regular program Nagkakaisang Lingkod-Bayan (NLD) ng Davao Oriental Barangay Outreach Caravan, the advocacy program called “Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism” took off at the caravan’s latest venue at Barangay Bobon in the City of Mati just last month. The students of the Bobon National High School, who were the advocacy program’s first audience, positively responded saying that they will use what they have learned as leverage to shun extremist ideologies and radical influences.

In the wake of the violent attacks in Marawi, Cotabato, and other parts of Mindanao and Visayas, the provincial government now focuses mainly on prevention through education. The program currently targets the youth as the primary recipients of the campaign as they are the most vulnerable sector to radical influences due to peer pressure and the burgeoning social media. The provincial government is also looking at expanding the campaign to other sectors such as the women sector, being recognized for their role in upholding values in the family; the Indigenous Peoples’ Community; and the Jama’ah (Muslim community in a barangay or sitio) as a strong institution with direct influence on its members. The datu and imam, who lead the 122 Jama’ah all over the province, are considered among the key actors to propagate the campaign to their communities.

Overall Datu of the City of Mati, Nestor Vicente, lauded the campaign thrusting to end violence by addressing the root causes of violence which are twisted ideologies. The campaign also aims at breaking the notion of Muslims being associated with violence and extremism. He urged everyone to be vigilant by reporting to the authorities all suspicious elements lurking in their community. (Karen Lou Deloso)

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